clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA 3 on 3 Tournament Round Two -- Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

In a Western Conference showdown that promises to be among the most entertaining imaginary 3 on 3 basketball games ever, the Los Angeles Clippers face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Clippers threesome consists of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom. None of those three is really stretching the floor, but with Paul running pick and roll every possession, they don't really have to. With only three defenders, even if you play it perfectly, something is going to be open. The worst shot the Clippers should ever take would be an open 15-footer for Odom, and that's not a bad shot. They'd get plenty of layups and dunks, too, with Paul orchestrating things.

The Timberwolves were the 13 seed in this Tournament, and they are the highest seed still alive, but don't think for a minute that it's a fluke that they're in the second round. With Ricky Rubio, Andrei Kirilenko and Kevin Love, this team is loaded. The battle between Love and Griffin alone would be worth the hypothetical price of imaginary admission.

Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.

  • Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Clippers win 15 of 20
  • Andrew Sharp, SB Nation -- Clippers wins 11 of 20
  • J.R Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Minnesota wins 13 of 20
  • J.A. Sherman, Welcome to Loud City -- Clippers wins 12 of 20
  • Adam Francis, Raptors HQ -- Clippers wins 14 of 20
  • Probability to win any given game -- Clippers 59 percent; Minnesota 41 percent
  • Probability to win series -- Clippers 63.35 percent; Minnesota 36.65 percent

Expert Comments:

Going with the Clippers solely because of CP3, but could totally see the T'Wolves stealing this one. Wouldn't Kevin Love be absolutely murderous with extra space all over the floor? And Rubio? And Kirilenko flying all over the place with help defense? Clearly, I want to to pick the pick the Wolves, but... CP3. It's just too hard to pick against CP3. (Note: I would pay $200 to watch these teams play 20 games of 3 on 3.) -- Sharp

I love this Minnesota team: rebounding, outside shooting, defense, toughness and playmaking. If Griffin had a couple more years of experience, or if Odom was a bit younger, I'd probably feel differently, but I think the Timberwolves out-muscle, out-hustle and outlast the Clippers. -- Wilco

Wow, this would be a fun match-up. On paper, it seems like Kevin Love's outside shooting should completely break down the Clippers' defense and Kirilenko would give Odom fits on the wings. I could see the Wolves starting off this series hot, taking a quick 7-2 lead in the series. However, the counter-argument is of course Chris Paul. He would begin to figure things out, turn negatives into positives, and eventually his talent and experience would catch Rubio and the Wolves in the end, leaving Minny to wonder, 'how did that happen?' -- Sherman

Wait, didn't I vote these Clipper guys out already? Not sold on them getting much farther, but think they take care of Minny. -- Francis

The Bottom Line

The experts seem to think (a) this one could be close (one picked the Wolves, most have it pretty even) and (b) it would be a lot of fun. In the final analysis the panel gives the Clippers a 59 percent chance to win any given game, which translates to a little more than 63 percent chance of advancing. Still, that's a better than one in three chance for Minny to pull the upset.

The dice will ultimately decide. The Clippers will be looking for rolls in the 50s or lower, the T'Wolves want 60s or higher.

Who do you think would win this one?

The results will be posted at 5 p.m. ET.

For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.